Survivors Manchester excluded from Rape Support Fund

One of the main barriers male survivors of sexual violence face is a lack of services. Most existing sexual violence services only assist women and girls. Of the services that do assist men and boys, most provide limited counseling and referrals.

Male survivors need services,  however, even when those organizations are created, they face dismissal by the existing female-only groups. For example:

Survivors Manchester, a service which supports men and boys who have suffered sexual abuse, received a letter stating that the Rape Support Fund would only be allocated to women and girls over the age of 13.

The service is the only support centre for male victims of sexual abuse in Manchester and is only one in five across the UK as they received 48% more referrals from last year after the high profile arrests of several famous figures.

The letter explained that the fund was for ‘rape support services whose primary purpose is to provide direct support to victims of rape and other forms of sexual assault, including both recent and historic abuse,’ but only for women over the age of 13.

This is blatant sexist discrimination. There is no logical reason to deny Survivors Manchester access to the funds. As the article notes, there are only a handful of male-only organizations in the UK. The funds allocated to them would be a blip compared to the money female-only organizations would receive.

The article quotes Duncan Craig, the Service Director for Survivors Manchester:

Due to the fact that the beneficiaries of our service are males we are ineligible to apply for much needed funds. Should the service have had female only beneficiaries, we would have been eligible.What message does this send out to boys and men suffering in silence? Does it give the message that government doesn’t care about them?

What message indeed. The article states that the organization only receives public donations. The added government support would allow them to assist more men and boys. Given that the other organizations are apparently not doing that, it sends a terrible message to male survivors.

More men and boys are coming forward. Some of them will seek counseling services. Why not provide it for them? Why deny them access to the same things offered to female survivors?

This is not the first time this has happened. Another organization that decided to assist male survivors was kicked out of the national Rape Crisis network. The UK government also required domestic violence shelters to grant men access to the services or lose their funding. Feminists groups blocked legislation to allowed women to be charged with rape.

What purpose does any of that serve except to deny the existence of male survivors? Why treat abused men and boys this way? What does it get any of these groups in the long run?

Survivors Manchester is currently asking Manchester residents to contact their Ministers of Parliament to petition for an appeal of the decision. Let us hope that enough residents file complaints so that the decision will be reconsidered.

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14 thoughts on “Survivors Manchester excluded from Rape Support Fund

  1. What the hell? This is stupid and outrageous, not to mention a blatant disregard for victims of sexual abuse/crime. I’m from the US, but am severely tempted to send a letter to them anyway decrying their gross sexism in this matter.

    In fact, I do believe I will. My brother survivors deserve better than this crap.

  2. >What purpose does any of that serve except to deny the existence of male survivors? Why treat abused men and boys this way? What does it get any of these groups in the long run?

    It maintains the harsh conditions that drive men and boys to sacrifice their own well-being, safety, health, and lives for cheaper pay than otherwise, which in turn allows these groups, along with everyone else to pay less for resources, infrastructure, manufacturing, defense, and so on.

    They do it for the money it saves them by exploiting the normal common emotional needs of boys and men.

  3. >What purpose does any of that serve except to deny the existence of male survivors? Why treat abused men and boys this way? What does it get any of these groups in the long run?

    1. More money.
    2. Putting off the reckoning when they have to address the fact that they’ve been ignoring male victims by one more day.

    I seriously think that a lot of folks are now ignoring male rape not because they think it’s not a concern, because they don’t want to be asked “so what took you so long?”* Jezebel recently had an article that was at best callous towards Chris Brown claiming he was a rape victim. The backlash from readers was so severe that they actually had to write another, more equitable article about male rape…that didn’t say the previous article was wrong (or even mention it), or talk about how feminism and Jez itself generally ignores M>F rape.

    * Especially if it means “losing ground” to “MRAs”.

  4. @SYABM.
    Oh there is no question that that is at least a part of it. A lot of those organizations, groups, and activists are waiting for a magic bullet that will allow them to skip from dismissing/disregarding/hating male victims to being at the forefront of helping male victims without having to face being called out on their past treatment of them.

    They have done wrong and they know it. They are just trying to skip the painful part where they get called out on it.

  5. Danny:
    And yet they don’t realize that to keep waiting for that magical bullet will make them look progressively more and more wrong and bad and that they are quickly progressing past being “called out” towards being “condemned”.

  6. @Tamen:
    Oh they realize it and instead of just facing the music now they are doubling down. That’s why instead of admitting they way they have treated men they would rather do one of the following:

    1. Look for scapegoats. This would call for pointing out a few specific sources and trying to limit the mistreatment of male victims to those few in order to sweep it under the rug. (This is very similar to how feminists try to any and all negativity in their movement to just a few radfems.)

    2. Demonize the ones that do try to give voice to make victims and make them out to be the enemy. Yes there are a lot of nutcase MRAs out there but one thing most feminists will NEVER admit is that if it were for MRAs (and non feminists) pulling all these studies and pieces of evidence male victims wouldn’t have the bit of improvement they have now.

    3. Ignore/Hide the evidence. They’ll keep ignoring the data, the studies, and the information.

    4. Claim all the credit for helping men. If you were to ask feminists they are the ONLY people that have ever tried to help male victims. Seriously go read just about any feminist article where they go on about how they are “the ones” that everyone needs to ally with if they want equality. In their revisionist history the only positive advocacy on the gender front that’s been done in the last 70 years has been feminism.

  7. Danny: Recently there was published a paper looking at prevalence of perpetration of sexual violence amongst adolescents. It got some media traction, among other thing for the finding that by the age of 18 both girls and boys were equally likely to have perpetrated sexual violence:

    It is not until ages 18 or 19 years that males (52%) and females (48%) are relatively equally represented as perpetrators.

    Here are some news articles on this study:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/131007-sexual-violence-rape-teenagers-sociology/

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-07/one-in-ten-adolescents-force-sexual-contact-study-finds.html

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57606422/study-1-in-10-adolescents-say-theyve-committed-sexual-violence/

    http://news.msn.com/us/nearly-1-in-10-us-youth-admits-to-sexual-violence

    I wrote a post about it here: http://tamenwrote.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/new-study-prevalence-rates-of-male-and-female-sexual-violence-perpetrators/

    So when I saw that Amanda Hess had written an article about this paper on Slate’s XX Factor my interest was piqued.

    It was interesting is how Amanda Hess of Slate’s The XX Factor has framed this paper: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/10/08/one_in_10_young_americans_has_committed_sexual_violence_new_study_finds.html

    Hess:

    One finding in particular stands out: The prototypical teen sexual abuser is a white male from a higher-income family.

    No mention of this quote from the actual JAMA article:

    Almost all perpetrators (98%) who reported age at first perpetration to be 15 years or younger were male, with similar but attenuated results among those who began at ages 16 or 17 years (90%). It is not until ages 18 or 19 years that males (52%) and females (48%) are relatively equally represented as perpetrators.

    Hess:

    Boys are more likely to coerce or force others into sex than girls are (though girls offend, too).

    Apart from the fact that the paper state that they use the BJS definition of rape, which do require that the victim is penetrated. I am, however, not totally sure that the article do use the BJS definition despite saying they do. If they do it certainly would explain why boys are more likely to commit rape than girls.

    Regardless of the definition used Hess has now established boys as the majority of perpetrators in the readers minds.

    Hess also neglects to quote this from the JAMA paper;

    Males were significantly more likely than females to report coercive sex or attempted rape, with similar but nonsignificant results observed for completed rape.

    Hess wrote

    Thirty-two percent of perpetrators argued or pressured another person into sex; 63 percent guilted them into it; 5 percent threatened physical force, and 8 percent used it. Fifteen percent employed alcohol.

    But neglected to mention:

    Tactics were generally similar by perpetrators’ sex and age at first perpetration.

    Hess wrote:

    Seven percent of offenders said they felt “not at all responsible” for the sexual violence; 35 percent felt “completely” responsible; 48 percent felt “somewhat” responsible. Fifty percent felt that their victim was “completely” responsible. (Yes, the overlap confuses us as well.)

    but neglected to mention:

    Again, differences by perpetrators’ sex or age at first perpetration were not noted.

    Hess quoted from the article section on bias:

    The study’s authors suggest that in light of the findings on race and income, healthcare professionals “assess and perhaps challenge our assumptions about sexual violence as an ill solely conscripted to underprivileged populations.”

    but neglected to quote this:

    Nonetheless, physiological data suggest that men can be raped; an erection does not necessarily mean sexual arousal50 and can be reflexogenic.51 Adolescent health care professionals need to assess the potential for their own gender biases in this area so that they can be more effective in identifying and treating female perpetrators and male victims when they present.

    To me that Amanda Hess article read like a giant white-wash of the gender aspect of the findings in this study.

    Or #3 on your list.

  8. Dang, I messed up a blockquote, Hopefully the last part is readable anyway.

    TS: I just noticed that I had re-blogged this article. It wasn’t intentional (I suspect it must have happened due to fat finger/small screen on the WordPress app on my Iphone) and I feel like I’ve been kind of rude to do so without asking you first. I am not sure of the proper etiquette is surrounding re-blogging.

    Since it’s been done, I am inclined to leave it up, but I want to ask if that is OK with you.

  9. So in the UK:

    1) The Equality Act Requires all services for men to also be accessible to women – and case law from the highest courts makes it so.

    2) The Equality Act Requires any and all authorities to provide female only services upon request/demand – and case law from the highest courts makes it so. There is no such provision for any other group on grounds of age, race, religion, sexuality ….

    3) The Equality And Human Rights Commission are a toothless poodle which uses the Equality Act 2010 to demand single sex treatment for women whilst ignoring Article 14 of the European Convention On Human Rights –

    Article 14 Prohibition of discrimination

    The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/42/schedule/1/part/I/chapter/12

    So it’s a breach of human rights to deny a male rape victim the opportunity to have single sex services when the same services are provided for women.

    Since the advent of certain changes enforced by the European Commission in response to the 1995 4th UN Global Conference form women and the follow on decelerations which have taken on the nature of international law …. well, if you are not female or a child …. you don’t count.

    It’s odd too – cos the claims/reports placed before the European Commission post 1995 have all been shown to be riddled with error, bias and are even now very hard to find (they are embarrassing that the EU web minions and elves do not directly link to these embarrassments from EU websites and pages) …. just like Unicorns!

    After that you have to deal with all the politics too – such as who funds The St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Manchester …. and also there are concerted efforts to push the Image Promulgated by St Mary’s where of course the (I have to Drop a Trope in here) VAST Majority of victims are not counted as male …. in fact the largest group seen at St Mary’s is CHILDREN. Of course if you are a male child you have your sex and any gender identity removed at the door upon entry, and then you are mysteriously seen as female.

    Now that really is an issue that needs addressing – enforced illegal sex changes on paper in a government funded institution. Who ever said that Institutional Bias and Sexism were things of the past?

  10. Pingback: Stories Of Sexually Abused Males - The Good Mother Project

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